Think you don’t have a date for Valentine’s Day? If you have a dog, you sure do! Leave your plans for a sad V-Day behind, and choose one of these ways to spend the day with your best furry friend.
1. Spend the Day Together at Home
Who says you have to go out to have a great time? Spending the day indoors with your pup can be wonderful. It gives you both a chance to relax and de-stress. And if your dog tends to be a “lazier” breed, this is just what she’s looking for.
Not sure what to do all day? Try one of these!
Binge-Watch Some Themed Programming
There are plenty of shows about love and dogs out there! You and your dog could spend Valentine’s Day curled up on the couch watching a few of your favorite movies or shows. Or try a few you’ve never seen before! Lady and the Tramp is the ultimate pick for Valentine’s Day, but after you finish that flick, this list should keep the day going strong:
- Fox and the Hound
- All Dogs Go to Heaven
- Isle of Dogs
- 101 Dalmatians
- Turner & Hooch
- Dogs (Netflix documentary)
Just make sure to have the popcorn and treats handy before you start!
Cook a Meal for Two
While you make your Valentine’s Day dinner, whip up something special for your furry friend! Check out our list of people foods that are also safe for dogs here.
2. Share Delicious Treats
Your dog is sure to love that meal for two, but she also won’t say no to special treats. These Valentine’s-themed recipes to go along with your own box of candy is sure to keep you both happy.
Vet Note: Chocolate is dangerous for dogs, so stick to the foods above if you want to make yours happy!
Red Velvet Pupcakes
This recipe on Rover will have your dog head over paws in love with you! Made with beets, have these items on hand before you get started:
- 2 baking sheets
- A pastry bag with an open star or French tip
- A food processor
- Mini muffin pans
You’ll also need these ingredients for the muffins themselves:
- Baking soda
- Baking powder
- Raw beets
- Unsweetened applesauce
For the frosting, you should have:
- Frozen strawberries
- Reduced fat cream cheese
This recipe is perfectly decadent for Valentine’s Day!
Heart-Shaped Chicken Dog Treats
For something a bit easier, but just as delicious, you’ll need:
- Cooked and mashed rice
- Rice flour
- Diced chicken
- A heart mold
- Blender (if you choose to freeze them)
You can make these chicken treats in either the oven or the freezer—or make both if you have enough heart molds!
Another super simple Valentine’s Day dog treat is doggy fro-yo bites. You can use a heart mold for these as well, so you really stick to the holiday theme.
- A blender
- Low-fat, all-natural Greek yogurt
- Peanut butter
- A baking sheet
Check out the full recipe right here.
3. Go Out on the Town
Sitting inside not for you or your pup? If you’d rather head out, there are plenty of fun ways you two can spend Valentine’s Day out on the town. You may be having such a great time, you want to do all four of these!
Head to the Dog Park
Nothing says, “I love you” to your pup like heading to the dog park for the day! It gives her a chance to relax, run around, and have some fun.
Take a Hike
If your town doesn’t have a dog park, don’t worry. You can spend V-Day in the woods or fields together, just the two of you. Our area has plenty of dog-friendly trails for you two to choose from on Valentine’s Day. Check them out here!
Visit the Pet Store
There are plenty of pet stores that allow your pets inside, and your dog may love a trip to one. Let her choose out a new dog toy or treat to bring home for the evening. It’s also the perfect chance to pick up those dog products you’ve been putting off.
Don’t Leave the Backyard
If you want to be outside, but don’t want to make a full day of it (or spend your Valentine’s evening cleaning up muddy dog prints from the dog park), your backyard is a great option. Whether you play tag around the shed or spend the day throwing tennis balls, your dog is sure to love the extra time with you.
Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be that “lonely holiday” you dread. It’s a wonderful chance to lavish your best furry friend with some extra love and attention. Whether you spend the day with your dog inside on the couch watching movies and making treats, or you head out to the dog park, this year’s Valentine’s Day is sure to be a hit for you both.
Halloween is just around the corner; don’t leave your pup out of the fun! He can absolutely be a part of this spooky holiday and even take part in trick-or-treating. Below are seven great examples of Halloween treats for dogs that you can find online or make at home!
Human Candy Is Not for the Dogs
As much as we like to share everything with our dogs, human candy should never be given to them. Most people know that chocolate is bad for dogs. That’s because of two ingredients—theobromine and caffeine—that are toxic.
But there are other foods, snacks, and ingredients that can be found in your trick-or-treat bag that you should keep away from your pup, including:
- Xylitol (also commonly found in gum and baked goods)
It’s always a good idea to stow your candy and snacks out of reach of your pets and to keep a sharp eye on furry friends during the holidays. If you suspect your dog ate a food or snack that is toxic to them—or you watched them do it—bring him to your veterinarian right away.
Spooktacular Dog Treat #1: Pumpkin FroYo Bites
You only need a few ingredients, plus an ice cube tray, to make Pumpkin FroYo Bites!
- 1 cup non-fat plain yogurt
- ½ cup canned pure pumpkin (Canned pumpkin is better for dogs than fresh!)
- ¼ cup water
Mix the ingredients together, and spoon the mixture into the ice cube tray. Once the bites are frozen, they make a wonderful October treat for your dog.
Spooktacular Dog Treat #2: Halloween Brownies
Healthy Hound Bakery has plenty of delicious treats for your dog, including Halloween Brownies. No chocolate is harmed in the making of these brownies! Instead, they’re concocted with pumpkin and carob.
This online bakery also has plenty of other Halloween-themed dog treats, including
Head to their website to see their full selection.
Spooktacular Dog Treat #3: Skeleton Bones Dog Treats
- 2½ cups non-bleached flour
- 1 cup water
- 1 chicken bouillon cube
- 1½ cup water
- 1 cup non-fat plain yogurt.
Simply mix, and freeze!
These treats will take you about one-and-a-half hours, plus time for freezing.
Spooktacular Dog Treat #4: Pumpkin Cubes
Pumpkin cubes are 100% pumpkin, so your pup gets all the health benefits of this awesome gourd. And they’re super easy to make. All you need is
- Canned pumpkin
- An ice cube tray
Simply put the pumpkin into the tray, and freeze!
You and your dog will enjoy pumpkin’s benefits to his digestive system, fur, and skin.
Spooktacular Dog Treat #5: Peanut Butter and Pumpkin Pooch Treats
With the health benefits of pumpkin and the deliciousness of peanut butter, your dog will love this combination.
- 2½ cups whole wheat flour
- ½ cup canned pumpkin
- ½ cup peanut butter
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ cup water
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
You should also have cookie cutters (Halloween-themed would look great!), a bowl, and a baking sheet.
To make Peanut Butter and Pumpkin Pooch Treats, follow this super easy recipe.
Spooktacular Dog Treat #6: Sweet Potato Dog Treats
Pumpkin isn’t the only fall food that can be a treat for dogs. Sweet potato is also wonderful to create Halloween-themed treats with. All need are:
- Sweet potatoes
- Cooking spray
- A microwave
Learn how to make Sweet Potato Dog Treats by following this recipe.
Spooktacular Dog Treat #7: Sweet Potato Pretzel Dog Treats
Following the sweet potato theme, Sweet Potato Pretzel Dog Treats are another autumn-themed snack perfect for Halloween.
You should have:
- 200g fresh sweet potatoes
- 1¾ cups whole wheat flour
- 1 tablespoon flaxseed meal
- 1 beaten egg
You will also need to have a baking tray and baking paper. To see exactly how to make these pretzels, check out the recipe here. The pretzel shape makes this recipe especially fun for kids!
Halloween is about sharing. Why not include your furry friend too? Remember to feed him dog-friendly snacks and not human food. These wonderful Halloween dog treats will keep your dog happy and healthy while still sharing in the holiday spirit!
If you suspect your dog got into the Halloween candy or ate something else harmful to him, contact your veterinarian right away. To speak with one of our staff about the signs and symptoms of chocolate consumption or other toxic items, please give us a call at 281-693-7387.
It’s pumpkin season! You’ve seen it flooding your social media feeds, all over commercials, and advertised in stores. Believe it or not, pumpkins can be used for much more than pumpkin spice lattes and Jack-o-lanterns. They’re delicious and healthy for your dog as well! There are plenty of ways to use the gourd during the fall season—or year-round.
1. Pumpkin for Digestive Health
Pumpkin can do great things for your dog’s digestive system, especially if she’s suffering from diarrhea or constipation. It helps with both! Fiber rich, pumpkin contains vitamins A, E, and C and also includes potassium and iron. Do be careful how much pumpkin you give your dog; too much vitamin A can be dangerous. A couple teaspoons a day is best.
Dog diarrhea could be a sign of a more serious issue, especially if constant or bloody. Constipation could also point to problems, such as a foreign obstruction. It’s important to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian if your dog is dealing with either type of bowel movements. If your pup is cleared by a doctor or the problem is because of a change in diet, a few teaspoons of canned pumpkin can be truly beneficial.
2. Pumpkin for Urinary Health
Pumpkin is a wonder for your dog’s urinary health. Pumpkin seeds, in particular, can get rid of kidney stones, and the oil from the seed and gourd can assist with incontinence.
3. Pumpkin to Deworm Your Dog
No dog (or owner) wants to deal with worms, but if you do, stock your pantry with pumpkin. The gourd’s seeds provide relief! They’re often used as a natural remedy for tapeworms and roundworms. The omega-3 fatty acids also have anti-inflammatory effects.
4. Pumpkin for a Glossy Coat
Those same fatty acids can do wonders for your pup’s coat, nourishing it and leaving it shinier than before pumpkin season!
5. Pumpkin for Weight Loss
If your dog is on the heavy side, and you need to reduce the amount of food she eats each day, replace the missing food with pumpkin to ensure she finishes with a full—healthy—stomach.
Instead of using fatty treats, try pumpkin substitutes. The gourd is 90% water, which provides an excellent extra source of hydration.
How to Give Pumpkin to Your Dog
Choose Canned Over Fresh
While both canned and fresh pumpkin can be beneficial to your dog, plain canned pumpkin has more vitamins, fiber content, and nutrients. This is due to the high water content in fresh pumpkin. It’s also easier to get canned pumpkin, as it’s sold year-round in stores!
Crush Up the Pumpkin Seeds
If you want to give your dog pumpkin seeds, you can simply crush and grind them into your dog’s food. They can eat whole seeds, but these should be fed one at a time and kept to a minimum.
Seeds can go bad quickly, so you have two options:
- Use them fast, or
- Roast them.
Roasting them allows them to last about 30 days. Throw bad seeds away, as they can be toxic.
Never Give Your Dog Pumpkin Pie
Delicious as it is for humans, never give your dog pumpkin pie. Some pumpkin pie filling contains xylitol, a toxic ingredient for dogs. Always stick to canned or fresh varieties, or seeds.
Don’t Add Any “Flavoring”
While you may like to add things to your pumpkin dishes, keep it as simple as possible for your pup. Do not add salt to the seeds or pumpkin, but also avoid spices, flavors, and preservatives.
Getting Creative with Pumpkin for Dogs
While 1 to 2 teaspoons of pumpkin (or tablespoons for big guys) is best for dogs, you may want to mix it up a little, so pumpkin season is fun for them too!
Mix cooked pumpkin, banana, plain unsweetened yogurt, and peanut butter together. Put this concoction into one of your dog’s stuffable toys for her to lick out!
Using the same ingredients as the pumpkin filler above, freeze the mix. This is a delicious cold treat on a hot summer day and keeps your dog occupied for longer.
A Dinner Topper
Mix pumpkin puree or mashed pumpkin with plain yogurt, chicken or beef broth, rice, and water. Pour it over your dog’s dinner to add a bit of flavor!
A Hollow Pumpkin
You don’t want to give your pup an entire pumpkin, but a hollow pumpkin can provide hours of fun. Add some treats or food, and it becomes a puzzle for your pup to enjoy with a reward at the end.
Who says pumpkin season is only for humans? Pumpkin is for the dogs! It can be an absolutely delicious and beneficial treat for your pet, encouraging better hydration, fur, skin, and weight. There are endless possibilities for this treat when it comes to your dog, and she’s sure to enjoy it year-round.
While adding pumpkin and pumpkin seeds can provide wonderful health benefits for your dog, if your pet is experiencing any medical problems, it’s important to take her to a veterinarian before giving her this treat. You should also ask your vet if it’s okay for your pup to have pumpkin if she suffers from diabetes.
If you have questions about the benefits of pumpkins for your dog, schedule an appointment with us! Call Cinco Ranch Veterinary Hospital at 281-693-7387.
When most people think of mosquitoes, they imagine the itchy bumps left on their skin and the diseases they carry that can affect humans. Have you thought about whether mosquitoes can affect your pet? Can your dog get West Nile virus?
There are a few illnesses mosquitoes can carry that you should know about if you’re a dog or cat owner. Then you can help protect and care for your pet when you’re out and about during mosquito season!
1. West Nile Virus
One question we hear is: Can my dog or cat get West Nile virus?
While your pet can catch this disease from mosquitoes, it isn’t one owners generally need to worry about. A study conducted on pets and West Nile found that both dogs and cats are very resistant to the disease. Dogs that were infected had such low measurable quantities of the virus that it would be very unlikely they would transmit it to another mosquito if they were bitten again.
Very few pets die from West Nile virus infection. In a study from 1999, 5% to 11% of dogs had the virus, but none of their owners reported signs of their pets being sick.
When symptoms do (rarely) occur, they can include:
- Muscle weakness
- Neurological problems
If your pet is displaying these symptoms, your veterinarian will check for more likely causes first, as they’re rarely caused by West Nile virus.
Heartworm is one disease that all pet owners should be proactive about. It’s the most common disease transferred by mosquitoes to cats and dogs and can prove painful to your pet and expensive for you if you haven’t taken precautionary measures.
Heartworm Symptoms in Dogs
Symptoms of heartworm in dogs often don’t show up until seven months after an infected mosquito infects your animal. Once mature, the heartworms will begin to reproduce in your dog’s heart, lungs, and blood vessels. If not treated, heartworm can be fatal.
- Lack of energy
- Reluctance to exercise
- Weight loss
- Decreased appetite
- Abnormal lung sounds
The best way to prevent heartworm disease in dogs is to use heartworm medication regularly. Your vet can prescribe it to you.
Heartworm Symptoms in Cats
For most cats, heartworm does not reach the adult stage, but even immature worms can cause issues, such as heartworm-associated respiratory disease.
Prevention is a must, as tests may not discover the immature worms, and in cases of infection, many cat owners don’t realize until it is too late.
There is no heartworm medication for cats. If your cat displays these symptoms, take him to the veterinarian immediately:
- Lack of appetite
- Weight loss
- Fluid in abdomen
- Coordination issues
3. Eastern Equine Encephalitis
Dog and cat owners generally don’t need to worry about eastern equine encephalitis (EEE), as they’re usually resistant to health effects. EEE most often affects horses. If your pet does display symptoms, he will most likely make a full recovery. In the worst-case scenario, he’ll need supportive treatment.
You should contact your vet if you notice these symptoms in your dog or cat:
- Neurological issues
How Do You Know If Your Pet Has Been Bitten by a Mosquito?
Dogs and cats often display the same signs as humans when they’re bitten by mosquitoes! Constant scratching and irritation are most common, along with the red welts people are used to. They may also rub their ears or noses to find relief.
How to Prevent Mosquito Bites
You can help prevent the spread of West Nile virus, heartworm, and EEE to your dog or cat by doing a few simple things:
- Use dog- and cat-friendly insect repellent – Never use insect repellent designed for humans on your pets; it can be toxic. If you do, contact your veterinarian immediately.
- Get rid of standing water in your yard, such as bird baths, untreated pools, and collected rain water.
- Don’t walk your dog during peak mosquito times: dawn and dusk.
- Use window screens, and replace or repair any tears.
- Administer preventative heartworm medication – It’s an inexpensive, monthly treatment. Always give your dog his heartworm medication on time and correctly. Missing a dose or administering it late can leave your pet open to infection.
- Have your dog tested for heartworm – This can be done annually by your vet to ensure your dog is not infected. While heartworm medicine is highly effective, it’s not 100%.
While you don’t have to worry too much about your dog or cat contracting West Nile virus or EEE from mosquitoes, preventative measures should still be taken to reduce the chances of contracting more severe illnesses, like heartworm. Medication and steps to remove mosquito habitats from your property go a long way in pet care, but if yours displays symptoms of West Nile virus, EEE, or heartworms, get him to a veterinarian quickly. Early detection is key to ensuring your pet stays in good health.
Whether your dog or cat is showing symptoms of one of these three infections, you would like to start your pet on preventative measures, or you need prescription refills, visit Cinco Ranch Veterinary Hospital in Katy, Texas. To book an appointment or bring your pet in for an emergency, give us a call at 281-693-7387.
If you’re planning a flight in the near future, you may be considering bringing your dog along with you. There are two options for flying with your dog:
1. As a carry-on – Typically under a seat
2. In cargo – Below the seating area, where luggage is transported
Unfortunately, not all dogs are allowed onboard as carry-ons. If they’re too large, for example, they may not be able to fly or will have to go cargo. But you may wonder if that’s safe.
Here’s what you need to know about flying your dog in a plane’s cargo hold and what you can do to make your pet as comfortable as possible.
Only Some Companies Accept Dogs as Airline Cargo
Each commercial airline has a different pet policy, especially when it comes to dogs traveling in cargo. Some airlines don’t allow pets to fly in the cargo hold at all. It’s important to note the specific airline pet policies before booking your ticket if you’re considering bringing your pup along.
The three major commercial airlines that allow dog cargo travel are:
- American Airlines® – Allows pups to fly in cargo (if it’s not too hot) for a $200 fee, as long as you reserve their spot 48 hours ahead of time and have the proper documentation, like a health certificate
- Delta – Has a separate program called Delta Cargo, which may or may not put your dog on a different flight than yours
- United Airlines® – Partners with American Humane in a program called PetSafe, which offers temperature-controlled vehicles, stress-reducing measures (such as boarding your dog last), and onsite and offsite kennels
Frontier, JetBlue®, Southwest® Airlines, and Spirit® do not allow pets to fly cargo.
Watch Out for Other Airline Restrictions
If you book on an airline that allows cargo travel, make sure you pay extra attention to the rest of their requirements. Some flights only allow specific dog breeds or sizes, while others restrict the amount of time your pet can fly. Usually pets are only allowed on flights that are 12 hours or less. Most airlines will not let you bring your dog in cargo if you have a connecting flight or are flying internationally.
Don’t forget to let the airline know in advance that you are checking your dog. Many flights have a limited number of pets allowed onboard, so the sooner you notify the company, the better.
You may encounter country restrictions if you’re flying overseas. Australia, for instance, requires pets to spend time in quarantine when they arrive. And pets traveling to Hawaii can only do so with strict documentation and during specific times of the year. It’s important to look at both your airline’s and your destination’s policies regarding pets.
What Is Flying Cargo Like for Your Dog?
When your dog flies in the airline cargo hold, they have a slightly different experience from the luggage even though they’re located in the same area. Your pup’s kennel will be secured separately from the rest of checked baggage, and it will remain there for the duration of the flight.
Each airline handles cargo differently, but in many cases, the pilot and crew can monitor or change the temperature in the cargo hold to help your pet have a more comfortable flight.
What You Need for Your Dog to Fly Cargo
There isn’t much you need to gather for your dog to fly cargo, but every airline and destination is different, so read over the guidelines. Here is a quick list of the things you will probably need to have:
- An airline-approved kennel that fits size restrictions and is big enough for your dog to stand up and move around
- Documentation, including ID and vaccination records
- Food, water, and treats for before and after the flight
- A clip-on water bottle
- Collar and leash
- Food for the kennel (if allowed)
Help Your Dog Be Comfortable and Safe
There are several things you can do before your flight to ensure your dog is safe as can be while in the airline cargo hold. Work through this list to help your pup prepare:
- Get a checkup with your vet – Some airlines and destinations require this!
- Groom your dog, and don’t forget to trim his nails!
- Take his travel kennel out well before the trip, so he becomes accustomed to it.
- Give your dog food and water within four hours of check-in time, but not within four hours of the flight (required by the USDA).
- Ask your airline if you are allowed to put food and water in your pup’s kennel during the flight, or if they will provide some.
- If you are including a clip-on water bottle, ensure your dog knows how to use it before the flight.
- Do not give your pet sedatives – They can increase the chance of heart and breathing problems.
- Consider including a favorite toy or blanket in his kennel.
- Try to avoid flight connections – If your dog gets lost, it’s likely to be during that transition.
When Your Dog Shouldn’t Fly Cargo
Not all dogs were made for flying, especially for flying as checked baggage. Breeds with snub noses—bulldogs, pugs, and boxers—are usually banned from flights. These breeds find it difficult to breathe, and high altitudes can make it worse. Other types of dogs may be banned by specific airlines (like mastiffs, spaniels, and others), so double-check with your airline to ensure your dog meets their requirements.
Your dog probably also shouldn’t fly cargo if he is particularly anxious. Flying can be a lot even for humans, and being separated and flown cargo can be pretty scary to a pet that doesn’t know what’s going on.
Don’t check your dog if he’s very young or very old. Older dogs may have trouble dealing with the transport, while many younger dogs, especially 12 weeks or younger, may be barred from flying.
There Can Be Risks
There can be risks when flying your dog as cargo, so due diligence and research before selecting your flight are essential. Pets that fly can be more susceptible to:
- Heat stroke
- Respiratory problems
- Heart issues
A vet check-up before you fly is essential to seeing whether your furry family member is fit enough to travel as cargo.
Booking direct flights and taking a photo of your pet in case he gets lost may help you avoid more serious problems.
If your dog isn’t up for flying cargo, you can consider other alternatives like boarding him or leaving him with a trusted pet sitter. If you do plan on checking your dog as cargo, research is the most important step you can take to ensure both a safe flight for your pup and a stress-free flight for you.
Are you planning to travel with your dog? We highly recommend a check-up before he takes off! To book your pre-flight appointment, give Cinco Ranch Veterinary Hospital a call at 281-693-7387.
Want to take a trip with your dog this year? If you’re planning on flying, you may be wondering how you can bring him along, without all the stress. It can be done! But preparation is key.
Here’s a quick outline on how to fly with a dog, so you and he have the best time possible!
1. Know Your Airline’s Rules and Regulations
Bringing your dog on vacation may seem like a dream come true, but it’s important to plan ahead and know what to expect before you get to the airport. Each airline has its own rules about flying with dogs, but, in general, you should know:
- Dogs are not always allowed on flights with connections.
- Pets are usually only permitted on flights of 12 hours and fewer.
- There are kennel-size restrictions, for both carry-on and cargo.
- Puppies should be at least eight weeks old, but some airlines request that dogs be older.
- Some breeds, such as bulldogs, are not allowed to fly.
- Certain destinations have restrictions and rules regarding pets.
Already know which airline you’ll be using? Carefully research what is and isn’t allowed on the flight. Here are links to some of the most well-known airlines’ pet policies:
If your airline is not one of the examples listed above, you can usually find pet policies by searching online for “Name of the Airline’s Pet Policies.” Certain companies, such as JetBlue, offer specialized programs to make flying with your dog easier.
Each airline has rules about how many total pets are allowed as carry-ons or in cargo, and how large your dog’s kennel can be. When booking your flight, mention your dog as early as possible to ensure he gets a spot on the plane. You’ll be asked to pay extra fees, and further information about your pup may be requested.
Never show up to the airport with your dog without booking his spot and carefully researching pet rules. You don’t want to begin your trip disappointed!
2. Bring This to Make Your Dog Comfortable
Flying with your dog can be a fun experience you won’t forget. Make those memories good ones by being properly prepared!
Here are a few items you should definitely bring along:
Documentation and Vaccination Records
Some airlines and even some destinations require you to bring documentation and vaccination records along with your pup. For example, JetBlue requires vaccination records, and American Airlines requires pet documentation in specific situations. It’s important to research both your flight and your destination to ensure you’re prepared in the paperwork department.
Regardless of requirements, it’s generally a good idea to bring these items with you, so you’re prepared for any medical emergency or situation that could arise.
Each airline has different requirements when it comes to kennel size, depending on whether you’re bringing your dog as a carry-on or checking him as cargo.
If your pup will be onboard with you, his kennel should fit under the seat in front of you. Bringing two pups along? That’s fine by some airlines, as long as they are the same species and fit in the same kennel.
While his kennel generally has to fit under a plane seat, size allowances vary from airline to airline, so make sure you know the exact rules for your flight. For example, Delta requires kennels to have proper ventilation, but sizes allowed vary from plane to plane. Spirit states that carriers must be 18” l x 14” w x 9” h, but for Frontier, kennels should be 24” l x 16” w x 10” h. Some airlines, like Delta and JetBlue offer kennels for you to buy that meet their restrictions.
The kennel you choose depends on how you’re flying with your pet (carry-on or cargo), your pet, and the airline. Research is essential to avoid problems, as airline requirements may change. You can find approved carriers through airlines’ websites or by searching online for “airline friendly kennels.”
Flying with your dog can be a stressful situation, but treats are almost always welcome! Give your pup treats throughout flight preparation (like packing), boarding, and during the flight to ensure he’s comfortable and knows his good behavior will earn him more.
Stick a favorite toy into your carry-on, and let your dog have it whenever possible. This is another great way to lower his stress because it’s familiar and comforting.
Food and Water
While you generally can’t feed your dog during your flight, you definitely want to have food on hand for afterward. Your pup will be hungry and thirsty, so it’s best to feed him as soon as you land.
If your dog is traveling as cargo, he should have water and food at least four hours before takeoff.
Baggies and Paper Towels or Wipes
It’s quite possible your pup will have an accident at some point during your travels. New situations and unfamiliar places like airports and planes can be confusing to a pup. When you have baggies and paper towels or wipes on hand, you can be a polite traveler and clean up the mess before one of your fellow passengers steps in it!
3. Reduce Your Dog’s Stress While Flying
Flying is stressful for many humans, so there’s no doubt it can be anxiety-inducing for our fur babies. There are steps you can take, both during and before the flight, to help him feel more comfortable.
Get Prepared Early
A few days before your flight, take your dog’s carrier out. He may already be anxious about the carrier, but having it out before your trip can help him get a bit more comfortable before travel day comes. Leave treats inside, so he associates it with yummy things.
Gather everything else that your dog will need, like his documentation, your tickets, his treats and food, etc.
Schedule a Checkup
Many airlines or destinations require that your dog has a checkup prior to take off, but it’s a good idea regardless of requirements! It can help ensure your dog is ready to fly comfortably, free of any potential health issues.
As you get ready for your flight, it’s smart to fit some exercise in. Walk your dog, throw ball, or do some agility. Your dog will be cooped up for a while, so it’s important he works out some of that pent-up energy for a more relaxing flight—for both of you.
Groom Your Dog
Grooming your dog, which includes trimming his nails, is recommended to ensure he stays cool and comfortable throughout the trip.
Fly Your Dog as Carry-On If Possible
Flying your dog as carry-on is recommended over checked baggage. Just being near you can reduce his stress. Give him treats regularly to reward him for good behavior and calm his nerves.
When Not to Fly with Your Dog
Not all dogs are cut out for airplane rides. If your pooch is particularly anxious, you may want to leave him at home with a friend or family member, or board him with a trusted facility.
It’s also recommended that certain breeds do not fly. Dogs with snubbed noses, for example, may have difficulty breathing in the cargo area or during stressful situations. Many airlines don’t allow these types of dogs to fly. If your dog has trouble breathing due to breed or health issues, it’s best not to take him on a plane.
Taking a trip with your dog can add a whole new, fun layer to the experience. But it does require preparation and research, so you can ensure your pup has just as much fun as you do!
Taking a trip with your dog in the near future? We recommend a checkup! You can schedule your appointment with us by calling 281-693-7387.
You have a new puppy! You’ve given him a name, puppy-proofed the house, and introduced him to your family.
Next step: Take him to the veterinarian for his puppy shots!
Not only will your vet make sure your dog is in good health, they’ll get him on a vaccination schedule, which is essential to your dog’s health, now and in the future. Many of the diseases against which vaccines protect are highly contagious and can be deadly.
Here are the shots your puppy needs, what they protect against, and when he should get them.
One of the most commonly known vaccine for dogs is the rabies vaccine. Required by law, it is essential to get this puppy shot and the tag and paperwork that goes along with it.
Rabies is a viral disease that can pass from animal to animal or from animal to human through a bite or through infected saliva getting into an open wound.
If your puppy doesn’t receive the rabies vaccination and contracts the disease, he could experience a failure of his central nervous system that results in:
An animal with rabies won’t display symptoms until two to eight weeks after being infected, and there is no cure for the disease.
When Your Puppy Should Get the Rabies Shot
Your puppy should get his first rabies shot around four to seven months old. At 12 to 16 months, he’ll need a booster shot. After that, your dog will require a rabies shot every one to three years.
Keep your pup’s up-to-date rabies vaccination paperwork in a safe place, and put his rabies tag on his collar. He’ll need proof of vaccination to play in dog parks and often to get his nails clipped.
Kennel Cough Vaccines
Aptly named, this illness can quickly spread among dogs in a kennel, boarding facility, or animal shelter if infected dogs are housed there. Kennel cough is very commonly caused by Bordetella or canine parainfluenza.
The Bordetella shot is not required, but highly recommended, especially if you’re heading to dog parks or training courses. If you plan on boarding your puppy during your vacations, this shot will most likely be required by the facility.
If your puppy contracts kennel cough, he will develop:
- A sharp, dry cough
- Gagging and retching
- Loss of appetite
Kennel cough tends to be mild, but, in more severe cases, it can be dangerous.
When Your Puppy Should Get the Kennel Cough Shot
Your puppy should get the Bordetella vaccine at 6 to 8 weeks, again between 12 and 16 months, and yearly after that.
There are two strains of the canine parainfluenza vaccine. The first shot will be given when your puppy is about 7 weeks old, with a follow-up for the other strain when he is 11 weeks. The second vaccine is part of the DHPP vaccine, also known as DA2P. This is a combination vaccination that also protects your pup against canine distemper, hepatitis, and parvovirus. He’ll get a follow-up DHPP shot at 14 to 16 weeks, 12 to 16 months, and every year or two following.
As with rabies, canine distemper has no cure, which makes this puppy shot extremely important. Unlike rabies, this disease can spread through the air as well as on contact.
The signs of distemper include:
- A high fever
Puppies and older dogs are at the most risk. Treatment tends to be supportive until distemper runs its course. Dogs with weaker immune systems may struggle to fight distemper, and symptoms may last for months even in healthy puppies. Distemper can be passed to other animals months after your pup is recovered.
When Your Puppy Should Get the Distemper Shot
Your puppy should receive his first shot between six weeks and eight weeks of age to be protected against distemper. After the initial shot, this vaccination is part of the DHPP vaccine. (See Kennel Cough Vaccines.)
Puppies are most prone to catching the parvovirus, also known as “parvo.”
Symptoms come on fast and include vomiting, fever, and bloody diarrhea by affecting the gastrointestinal system.
If you suspect your puppy has parvo, bring him to your veterinarian immediately. Early treatment is essential, as the illness can be fatal in under 48 hours.
When Your Puppy Should Get the Parvovirus Shot
The parvovirus vaccine is a part of DHPP, so it is included in your puppy’s core shots at 10 to 12 weeks. Follow-up vaccines should be given at ages 15 weeks, 12 to 16 months, and every 1 to 2 years following.
Also part of the DHPP vaccine is the hepatitis vaccine. There is no cure for hepatitis in dogs, but your pup can be treated until the illness passes. In more severe cases, hepatitis can be fatal or cause damage to the liver.
Canine hepatitis is also known as canine adenovirus. It begins as an upper respiratory infection and spreads to the liver, kidney, and other organs. Signs include bleeding disorders, swelling, abdominal pain, fever, and lethargy. In some cases, it could even cause the eyes to become inflamed.
When Your Puppy Should Get the Hepatitis Shot
Follow the DHPP schedule for these shots: 10 to 12 weeks, 14 to 16 weeks, and every year or two after that.
Other Dog Vaccinations
Some other diseases you should consider for good puppy health are leptospirosis, Lyme disease, and coronavirus, but these are generally considered optional vaccines.
If you decide to vaccinate your puppy for these three diseases, he should get them at 10 to 12 weeks, again at 14 to 16 weeks, another time at 12 to 16 months, and then have a booster shot every year or two after that.
Leptospirosis doesn’t always show symptoms, but it is caused by bacteria. If signs do appear, they can include:
- Kidney failure
Antibiotics are the best treatment if your puppy isn’t vaccinated.
Lyme disease is an illness humans are very familiar with, but while we get a rash, dogs do not. Symptoms in canines include:
- Swollen lymph nodes
- A limp
Lyme disease can affect various parts of your pup’s body and lead to more serious problems if not treated. Antibiotics can help, although symptoms may show up again later.
Canine coronavirus (CCV) affects the intestines. It’s very contagious and may not always display symptoms. If your puppy does show signs, they may be:
- Explosive diarrhea
CCV isn’t necessarily dangerous, but if caught at the same time as parvo or other diseases, it can be fatal.
Are you bringing home a new puppy? Make an appointment for his puppy shots! We can help you create a custom puppy vaccination schedule for your new family member. Each puppy is different. While these are general guidelines to follow for puppy shots, it’s important to ask your veterinarian about your dog specifically. They may suggest one or two vaccines a little earlier than usual, or a little later.
These shots can help ensure your puppy’s health throughout his life and all his adventures. Reach us by calling 281-693-7387 to schedule your dog’s first vet appointment!
There’s no doubt dogs try to get into everything and anything, which can make the thought of your dog being poisoned a realer one than you’d like it to be. If you have a curious pup, there are signs and symptoms of dog poisoning you can look out for. Here’s what you need to know!
If you suspect your dog has been poisoned, seek emergency animal care immediately. If you have questions about your pet’s health or see potential signs and symptoms of poisoning in your dog, don’t hesitate to call Cinco Ranch Veterinary Hospital at 281-693-7387.
What Is Poisonous to a Dog?
Quite a few items around the house can be poisonous to a dog, if ingested. The most well-known food item is chocolate, but there are other things you should keep out of reach of your pooch, including:
- Human medications
- Household products and chemicals, such as antifreeze
- Herbal products (like fish oil and others)
- Insecticides and rodenticides
- Various human foods (grapes, avocados, raisins, etc.)
- Plants (tulips, daffodils, azaleas, and others)
- Products for your lawn
This list isn’t exhaustive, so be sure to put anything that isn’t specifically made for her out of reach. If you do give your dog human food on occasion, always double-check that neither it nor any of its ingredients are poisonous. Carefully research chemicals, plants, and other items before using them in your home or yard.
Some animals are also poisonous to dogs, as well as humans and other pets. Keep an eye out for brown recluse spiders, coral snakes, and other venomous animals.
Signs of Poisoning in Dogs
If you suspect your dog got into a chemical, food, medication, or other dangerous substance, there are signs you can look out for. Common symptoms include:
- Loss of appetite
- Irregular heartbeat
- Neurologic symptoms, like seizures
If you notice any of these symptoms, seek veterinary assistance immediately.
A poisoned dog that doesn’t get care will likely develop more serious issues. Antifreeze and Easter lily, for instance, can lead to kidney failure. Certain medications can cause liver damage. Garlic and onion can result in bleeding and bruising. Attacks from venomous animals or consumption of poisonous plants can cause neurological problems, such as seizures and other symptoms. Suspected dog poisoning should never go untreated.
What to Do If Your Dog Is Poisoned
If you notice any of the above signs of poisoning in your dog, or you saw her eat a poisonous item, you can call Animal Poison Control for assistance at 888-426-4435, but it’s important to get her to a veterinarian immediately. Never give her medication at home or attempt to induce vomiting without being instructed to do so. In some cases, if your pet’s fur or skin came into contact with the poison, you will be able to bathe her to remove the toxin. Ask your veterinarian for advice.
Try to gather the poisonous substance and a sample of vomit, if your dog threw up, to show the vet. This can help them diagnose and treat your pet. Be careful handling other items that are poisonous to dogs, as they might be dangerous for you as well. If your dog was attacked by a venomous animal, only bring the animal in if it is already dead, and handle it with gloves and care to prevent the transmission of illness. This can help the emergency vet identify the exact species and determine treatment. Never try to catch a venomous animal.
There are several steps you can take to prevent your dog from being poisoned or reduce the risk. And you can always be ready if an accident happens! Take these steps to protect your dog’s health:
- Lock up all chemicals.
- Keep medication in child-proof containers out of reach.
- Err on the side of caution, and do not feed your dog human food.
- If you do feed your dog human food, double-check that it is not dangerous for them.
- Keep hydrogen peroxide at home just in case your veterinarian advises you to induce vomiting. Never attempt this without your veterinarian saying it’s okay.
- Research all plants before bringing them into your home or planting them in your yard.
- Refrain from using insecticides and similar products in your home.
- Keep dog shampoo and dish soap on hand in case of skin or fur contact.
- Keep your dog’s medical records, microchip information, and ID in the same place to grab in case of an emergency.
- Clean up immediately after cooking, including any possible dropped food.
- Add your veterinarian, local emergency vet, and Animal Poison Control to your phone’s contacts.
- Lock up the garbage.
- Always follow the directions on medications for fleas and ticks, and others, to ensure proper use.
Prevention is key to your dog’s safety! But if an accident does happen, know the signs of dog poisoning, and take the necessary steps to help your pet. If you see your dog eat a poisonous item, don’t wait: Go to the vet. Try to remain calm, so you can help your pup as best as possible.
If you believe your dog has been poisoned or suspect she got into something dangerous, call us at 281-693-7387, or visit us at 2519 Cinco Park Place in Katy, Texas.
Dogs get into a lot of things they’re not supposed to, and those often go right into their mouths before you know it. Sometimes those items pass right through your pup. Other times, a swallowed object can cause serious issues. Here’s what you need to know when your dog eats a foreign object and how to get her to pass it.
Foreign Objects Dogs Shouldn’t Eat
Dogs will try to eat just about anything, and most food is okay for them. (Check out our list of safe snacks here!) But there are others items they seem to go for more often and definitely shouldn’t consume. Here’s a list of the most common ones:
- Toilet paper
- Tennis balls
- Dog, cat, or children’s toys
- Chicken bones
- Food wrappers
If you have a dog, you now this list is by no means exhaustive! The amount of things a curious canine can get into can be endless, so take precautions to keep such items out of reach, and choose toys that are safe for your pup.
How to Tell If Your Dog Ate a Foreign Object
If you didn’t witness your dog eat a foreign object, two things can happen:
1. You notice it when she passes it on her own – Items that move through the digestive track on their own tend to be out in 10 to 24 hours, but some can take months to pass. Certain objects can make it to the colon but then have difficulty coming out.
2. OR, she starts to show signs of having eaten something she shouldn’t have.
There are plenty of signs that your dog ate something foreign and it’s causing an obstruction in her stomach or intestines. Vomiting is extremely common, but so is:
- Abdominal pain
- Not eating
- Behavioral changes
Your dog might guard her stomach due to tenderness or pain.
If your dog is passing the item and you can see it sticking out of her anus, do not pull on the item. It could cause damage to her intestines or colon.
What to Do If Your Dog Ate a Foreign Object
If you saw your dog eat something she wasn’t supposed to or you suspect she did, don’t hesitate: Take her to the veterinarian right away. The sooner you get there, the better chance your vet can remove the item before it causes more issues or before surgery becomes necessary. If it is after your veterinarian’s regular hours, call an emergency veterinarian. Describe the situation, and ask for advice. They may ask you to come in.
When you arrive, your vet will take X-rays and blood work to see exactly where the item is and if your dog’s health has been negatively affected by the foreign body.
The next step depends on where the item is in your dog’s digestive system. In some cases where the foreign body is still in the stomach, the vet may induce vomiting or remove it through an endoscopy. Never try these at home; leave them to a professional who can care for your pet before, during, and after the procedure.
If the item has passed the stomach and is in the intestines, your dog may require surgery.
If the foreign object reaches the colon but still hasn’t passed, your veterinarian may suggest fluid therapy, laxatives, or an enema.
How to Prevent Your Dog From Eating Foreign Objects
It can be tough to keep your dog out of everything or to keep your eye on her at all times, but there are simple steps you can take to prevent an emergency. Prevention is the best way to help your dog stay safe!
Monitor Her Toys
Be careful about what you present to your pup as a toy. Don’t give her things she can swallow easily, and keep her play style in mind. For instance, if your pup likes stuffed animals but tends to rip out and eat the stuffing or eyes, it may be time to stop buying those types of toys. Find safe objects that she won’t destroy or eat, and monitor her as she plays.
Check reviews before you purchase a new item.
Dog-Proof Your House
Dog-proofing is similar to baby-proofing and just means finding ways to keep your dog out of things she shouldn’t be in. It could include locking access to cabinets, keeping the garbage in a closet or other location, placing smaller items out of reach of her mouth, and never leaving objects on the floor. Put away shoes, socks, children’s toys, and tempting items.
If you saw your dog swallow something she shouldn’t have, you suspect she did, or she’s experiencing the symptoms of an obstruction, don’t wait to see if she will pass the foreign body on her own. Take her to a veterinary hospital as soon as possible to avoid complications.
You can reach Cinco Ranch Veterinary Hospital at 281-693-7387, or visit us at 2519 Cinco Park Place in Katy, Texas. We provide emergency care whenever our clinic is open. If we are closed when you call, we’ll refer you to a quality veterinary emergency center that is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Learn more about our hospital services here.
If you have a flight booked and want (or need) to take your pet along, one of the first questions you have is likely about airline pet policies. Thankfully, lots of airlines are pet friendly. Read on for a summary of the pet policies of each of the major United States airlines.
General Rules & Reminders About Bringing Your Pet on a Plane
Each airline has different rules and regulations when it comes to traveling with pets, but here are some common things to keep in mind:
– Many airlines only allow pets on flights that are less than 12 hours long.
– Each airline has rules about kennel sizes, which may vary depending on whether your pet is in carry-on or cargo. Generally, their carrier should be big enough for your pet to move around in.
– Pets will not always be allowed on your flight if you’re making a connection.
– Snub-nosed cats and dogs may not be allowed onboard. Examples:
– Pets should be at least eight weeks old, but some airlines require them to be older.
– There may be a specific number of animals allowed on a flight, so book your pet’s spot ASAP!
– Each destination (especially international destinations) has its own restrictions and requirements. When flying internationally, check with the country’s embassy to ensure you follow their rules for bringing in pets. Hawaii, for example, has specific requirements, as does Australia.
– Service animals are allowed on all flights, but double-check with your airline about their guidelines.
What to Bring When You Fly with a Pet
- Food (depending on the length of the flight) – If your pet is traveling in the baggage hold, they should have had food and water at least four hours prior to their flight.
- A favorite toy
- Vaccination records
- Health certificate from a veterinarian
- ID tags and licenses
The pet policy from American Airlines® (AA) allows you to carry-on or check cats and dogs for flights to and from specific destinations. They do not allow pets on transatlantic flights.
No matter how you would like to fly your pet, they must be eight weeks or older.
If you wish to bring your pet with you onboard, they must be under 20 pounds. Their kennel counts as your carry-on bag and costs $125 each way. American Airlines restricts the total number of pets allowed as carry-ons, so reserve your pet’s spot as soon as you know you want to take them along!
You can check up to 2 pets for $200 each. You must have their health certificates with you and register for their spots at least 48 hours in advance. If you are transporting your pet because you’re moving or adopting them from somewhere else, they’ll need specific documentation and preparation.
AA will not transport pets to certain cities during the summer due to heat.
Learn more about American Airlines’s pet policy: https://www.aa.com/i18n/travel-info/special-assistance/pets.jsp
Delta’s pet policy allows you to bring cats, dogs, and household birds on flights up to 12 hours. Your pet must be 10 weeks old for domestic travel and 16 weeks for international. Space is limited, so it’s essential that you notify Delta about your plans as soon as possible.
The fee to carry your pet on a flight is $125. Their kennel should fit under the seat in front of you and counts as one of your two allotted carry-on bags. Although only one pet is generally allowed, if you have a nursing mother with a litter, the litter can come along.
Checked pets must fly with Delta Cargo. This requires a separate ticket. Note that your pet may not be on the same flight as you if you choose Cargo.
Learn more about Delta’s pet policy: https://www.delta.com/content/www/en_US/traveling-with-us/special-travel-needs/pets.html
The airline pet policy for Frontier allows for small pets on domestic flights, including:
- Guinea pigs
- Small birds
Only dogs and cats are allowed on international flights.
You can only bring your pet on as a carry on. Frontier no longer checks pets.
To carry your pet onboard costs $75 per flight. Frontier Airlines advises that you pay in advance, during your booking. You may have to pay more if you wait until check-in.
Learn more about Frontier’s pet policy: https://www.flyfrontier.com/travel-information/family-pets
Small pets, including dogs and cats, are allowed to travel as carry-on baggage with JetBlue. Their baggage areas are pressurized, which means you don’t have the option of checking your pet as cargo. Space is limited onboard, so book your spot as early as possible.
Their free program, JetPaws, makes flying with your pet easier and more comfortable.
JetBlue requires that all pets have their vaccination and documentation with them. The fee is $100 each way.
Learn more about JetBlue’s pet policy: https://www.jetblue.com/traveling-together/traveling-with-pets/
Southwest welcomes cats and dogs to fly with them. Because Southwest experiences high temperatures in their baggage area, furry friends are only allowed to travel as carry-ons.
Each flight costs $95. While you’re only allowed one carrier, you are welcome to bring two pets within the kennel. Southwest only allows pets on domestic flights and does not request health certificates. Only six pets are allowed on each flight, so ensure you book your loved one’s spot early.
Learn more about Southwest’s pet policy: https://www.southwest.com/pets/
If you’re traveling with your pets and flying on Spirit Airlines, you can bring along dogs, cats, and birds, as long as the kennel remains under 40 pounds. They’re only allowed in carry-on and primarily only on domestic flights, although you can bring your dog or cat with you to Puerto Rico and St. Thomas.
Spirit’s fee to fly with a pet is $110 each way. They only allow four pets per flight, so book your furry friend’s spot as quickly as possible. You won’t be asked to produce a health certificate, but your pet should be eight weeks or older.
Learn more about Spirit’s pet policy: https://customersupport.spirit.com/hc/en-us/articles/202096926-Does-Spirit-Airlines-allow-pets-on-board-
United offers pet owners several options for traveling with pets. Small animals are allowed to fly, including:
United recently partnered with American Humane to ensure their transportation service, PetSafe, gives your pet the best flight possible. The team is made up of professionals, and the program has climate-controlled vehicles. If you have a long connection, PetSafe provides onsite and offsite accommodations. Customer service for their program is available 24/7.
The number of pets allowed to be carried on a United flight is only six, so make sure you save your pet a spot. The fee is $125 and may be more if you have long connections.
If you wish to check your pet, you’ll need health certificates and have to meet specific crate requirements. The fee you pay is based on the weight of your pet and carrier.
Learn more about United Airlines’s pet policy: https://www.united.com/ual/en/us/fly/travel/animals.html
If you’re traveling with your pet, it’s important to do your research into your airline’s pet policies but also the requirements of your destination, especially if you’re flying internationally. Each airline is slightly different, so speak with the agents to ensure you meet the rules for your pet. Learn more about any airline’s rules, restrictions, or requirements on their website or by calling their customer service line.
If you’re traveling with your dog or cat in the near future, your airline may require vaccination records or a health certificate. We’re happy to help! Give us a call at 281-693-7387 to set up your pet’s pre-takeoff appointment.
And if you decide to keep your pet at home while you fly, we offer safe and comfortable boarding facilities. Learn more about them here!